NBA Live 19 is a game that’s frozen in time as it is currently the last basketball game produced by EA Sports to this point. Since its release in 2018, we’ve seen the launch of new generation consoles, a slew of remakes/remasters, and even the announcements of new college football and Skate games, two things that were long overdue. We’ve also seen NBA 2K continue to dominate.
EA put out a statement back in 2019 essentially saying they were going to step away from NBA Live to make sure they got things right for the new generation of gaming. They haven’t spoken about the series since that time, at least for consoles, as NBA Live Mobile is still going fairly strong. However, despite the longtime NBA series being shelved again for the time being, Live 19‘s servers are still up and you can still get street games in online.
For those looking for an extra option to get their NBA gaming fix, they may find themselves going back to NBA Live 19, which is available on EA Play’s subscription service among other places. Although Live had its hiccups in the 2010s, Live 19 ended up being one of the better games in the series. It’s not perfect by any means but it still offers several things that make it a lot of fun to go back to and play despite other sports games moving forward into the new generation of gaming.
I mentioned that NBA Live 19 isn’t a perfect game and the gameplay plays a role in that imperfection, but it’s still a big upgrade from the previous installments in the 2010s. Dribbling and shooting in particular feel really solid on the court as crossing up your opponents and driving to the basket are satisfying.
The same goes for shooting. There’s a “green release” system like with 2K and the window for a green is very reasonable, especially if you have a shooting-focused build in The One career mode. Also, a nice thing about shooting is that essentially every aspect of the area is attribute-based. So for example, if your three-point rating is 85, you’ll be an excellent spot-up shooter but this doesn’t mean you’ll be a great shooter off the dribble. There’s an attribute for that.
Yes, you’ll still be able to make shots off the dribble but the timing window will be much smaller. This adds an extra layer of fun when deciding where to put your Skill Points and plays a major role in the gameplay on the court. The defensive side of gameplay is strong as well whether it’s going for blocks, steals, or just staying in front of your matchup. The one weaker area is rebounding. Sometimes it feels like you don’t truly have full control over them, but other than that and certain things related to animations, the gameplay in Live 19 is very good overall.
One of the biggest bright spots about NBA Live 19 is that it’s old school. There’s no need to purchase currency with real money to upgrade your created player or buy clothes. In a gaming world where many games lean heavily on microtransactions, this is really refreshing. Yes, the game is five years old, but even at that time we were seeing microtransactions in several games.
And yes, in some games you can grind it out the old-fashioned way to earn your virtual currency, but it may take a long time to get enough to make upgrades and such. Here, all you need to do is ball and you’ll receive the aforementioned Skill Points that can be used to upgrade your baller. Playing games also nets you the currency you need to make purchases for new gear. Answering texts from folks in your circle will help you net some currency as well.
It really won’t take you long to reach 90 overall or higher in The One mode. After just a few games, you’ll already likely be somewhere between 75 and 77 overall. And on top of that, you’ll receive rewards every time you upgrade a skill whether it’s shoes, jumpers, boosts in other attributes, or jerseys. Not to mention you have the “Icon” section that gives you rewards for earning certain amounts of XP, and it’s all based on your archetype choice. So for example, if you chose the Dirk Nowitzki play style (The Marksman), then you’ll have the opportunity to get different Dirk rewards, including his jumper and jersey — this is on top of the general rewards you can get. And yup, all of this is included without the need for microtransactions.
Authentic Streetball Courts
In the world of sports, the venues play an important role in the legacy and history of a sport. NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, or college sports, there are plenty of iconic stadiums and arenas around the world. Like in golf, the courses are always among the most talked about things in the sport because of their importance to the game. The same goes for street basketball.
Many of the best courts in hoops are right in our cities and neighborhoods. From Rucker Park to Venice Beach, there are many historic places for outdoor basketball action and many of these are in NBA Live 19. For starters, you have the incredibly beautiful Quai court in Paris that is located right near the Eiffel Tower.
Then you have King/Drew Magnet High School that is home to the iconic Drew League and Seattle Pacific University, which is home to the Jamal Crawford Crawsover Pro-Am. A couple of other standout courts include The Cage and Dyckman Park to go along with the aforementioned Rucker and Venice. These are just some of the 14 courts on offer and you can enjoy them in both The Streets mode (single player) and in Live Run (multiplayer).
Speaking of courts, you can not only play on the legendary streetball ones and in NBA arenas, but you can design your own as well in NBA Live 19. This is your “One Court” and you can change just about every aspect of it from floors, to baskets, logos, and the type of ball you can use there. You’ll have to unlock some things but most assets will be available to you right off the bat.
To earn more items for your One Court, you’ll need to take part in Court Battles where you play games on your own court and on other players’ One Courts. Doing this will level up your One Court XP meter that will allow you to unlock loot boxes that contain fresh new gear for your homecourt. If Court Battles aren’t really your thing, then as I mentioned, there are plenty of options to choose from right away to have your court fit your personality and style.
Your One Court will also operate as your practice area as well. So if you wanted to try out a new jumper, test out your newly upgraded attributes, or just want to chill out and shoot around, you can do it here. The designer overall is very easy to use and you can cook up a beautiful court in no time. And you can have multiple saves if you decide to change up your court’s look.
Continuing with the theme of customization, swagger is a massive part of basketball culture. If you’re rocking a certain pair of sneakers or a designer shirt for example, you’ll be standing out in the hoops world. Well, NBA Live 19 offers a strong amount of apparel to choose from as well as many different hairstyles to best suit your player’s style.
There was an EA face scan mobile app at the time, but unfortunately that app no longer exists so you’ll have to roll with one of the default faces that are on offer. As mentioned, hairstyles come in a rich variety whether it’s afros, cornrows, dreads, curls, fades, etc. You can unlock fresh new drip by playing the game and earning loot boxes, or you can simply save up your hard earned currency and buy items straight up.
If you want one of the many dope NBA legend jerseys, that’ll run you around 100,000 in-game currency. If you want some rare kicks, then those might go for around the same. And while you build up your currency, remember that you’ll be cracking open loot boxes along the way, which will also net you some free swag as well. Build up your Hype XP meter by playing NBA games and you can purchase team-based loot boxes that include different apparel items there. So if you want to rock the gear of your favorite team, then that’s one of the ways to go about doing that.
All in all, there’s a rich selection to choose from whether it’s individual items or through loot boxes. Oh, and there are plenty of tattoo options as well.